The North Korean war machine has become slightly more intimidating.
A report released Tuesday claims that North Korea has modified Chinese trucks into mobile intercontinental ballistic missile platforms.
Jeffrey Lewis, Melissa Hanham and Amber Lee at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies claimed in an article on the website 38 North:
North Korea paraded what appeared to be six road-mobile missiles, quickly identified in the media as KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), through Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang. Attention immediately focused on these unusual vehicles, after Chinese bloggers identified them as Chinese-manufactured transporter-erector-launchers (TELs) used by Beijing’s strategic missile forces.
China claims that it was unaware that its trucks would be used by North Korea in any sort of military capacity. The export of any technology that could potentially be used by the North Korean military is prohibited by the UN Security Council.
China insists that they only exported the chassises of the trucks to the North Korean regime for civilian uses. Pyongyang reportedly said that the vehicles would be used for logging. Although hard to believe, logging is one of the few possible civilian uses for these trucks.
At a time of heightened tensions across East Asia, these trucks do little to help calm the region. North Korea is being viewed as progressively unstable, and it has threatened to pull out of family reunions with South Korea if it continues its annual military drills with the US.
If North Korea were to collapse, as some expect it might, these trucks could be become a major international security concern. Mobile missile launchers are extremely difficult to track, and they could have the capability to launch missiles with enough range to be able to hit the US mainland.
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